Every year around this time, with summer in full swing, a couple of things have remained constant for as long as I can remember. The first is that my physical therapy routine picks up in intensity as I find myself feeling better in the warm weather and wanting to do more. The second is that I increasingly feel left out. I run out of things to do.
I don’t want to just blame social media for this, because I remember feeling this way as a small child while watching other kids run around on the playground in the park. But watching friends and family travel and get out while I scroll through my social media timeline probably doesn’t help much. No one wants to feel like they are missing out.
I try to find things I can still do to occupy my free time during the summer. Honestly, other than staying in and staying online or watching Netflix all day, sometimes it feels as if going out to a restaurant or the movies is the only thing I can do in the summer. It gets repetitive.
I turned to the internet in hopes of finding other ideas and was disappointed to find excellent resources geared toward kids while searching for adult activities. But reading the list, I realized that a lot of these things are actually great ideas for adults, too. For example, going for a walk or going swimming, reading or creating something, visiting a friend or a local petting zoo, or volunteering are some of the options.
But I still can’t help feeling as if there aren’t enough things to do for people with disabilities during the summer. And I wanted to share a couple of ideas to keep you busy without feeling as if you’ve missed out. You could take Skillshare classes in literally everything from gardening to home improvement to podcasting.
Once a week, my town has something called “Movies in the Park Night,” which is free. Local classes at the library or local businesses are often free or inexpensive, such as sip-and-paint events, bottle-making (usually with those colored sand art bottles we used to play with as a kid at the local fair), glitter painting, etc. I urge you to be creative and to put yourself out there to try to find something similar in your area. Facebook is a great way to do this with the “Events Near Me” feature.
I think summer is challenging for people with disabilities for a number of reasons. For example, the heat tires people out more easily, and crowds can be an issue, along with the outdoor terrain. I find that malls are unpleasant, and aside from a movie theater or restaurant, what else is there?
Something cool I’ve wanted to try is called an escape room. They seem to be accessible. I find myself trying to move my body more indoors without the fear of uneven terrain outside. I do things like yoga, and I clean a lot in the summertime, which is probably a result of feeling better and wanting to do more. I try to be creative and write, and look for some freelance gigs and things to fill my time.
I’m sure I’m not the only one, and I’m really curious to hear about what you do during the summer. What do you wish existed for people with disabilities? How can we fix this?
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